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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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afternoon in the er, the short and slightly coherent edition
sleepy
seperis
So due to escalating, unending gall-bladder related back pain, I had to go to the ER this morning. No, I still have Horace; what I also have is relief from back pain that's been continuously building since Sunday. This is because I was introduced to morphine.

If this is a little choppy, I totes have reason; this shit is pretty damn good.

Because the constant pain thing is a warning sign of things like perforation and necrotized (is that the right word?) tissue, I went in with my mother (she is capable of tackling me into immobility; slim but wiry, let me point out) and I was put in IV, blood tested, and left to stare at the walls much calmer than I would have expected, because I always forget my bulletproof calming comes down to ritual, and hospitals are professional at the entire ritual stripping of clothing, leaving the world behind you, and hooking you to a blood pressure cuff, pulse finger thing, and an IV bag to leave you contemplating God or try to competitively lower your own blood pressure (personal best: 101/51, pulse 75).

Blood and urine tests (god, urine tests with the complexity of SATs, and I'm sorry, who the fuck has the hand-eye coordination to do all that?) confirmed that everything was just fine in my body (given the entire gall bladder being evil issue) but my resistance to hydrocodone (vicodin) was a problem since the back pain was getting worse every time I ate, even if it wasn't bursting into exciting adventures in intense pain every time. So the plan was to see if they could get the pain thing down and still wait to do a prepared and comfortable surgery and not do it out of the ER. So by one pm, the first try was a low dose of morphine, which was utterly useless; the second was benthyl, a pill to help with spasms amongst the innards (work with me; they named specific innards but I'm pretty stoned right now); the third was a combination of one level up of morphine with benthyl, which a.) brought about druggedness and b.) took away all the pain. So I was let go, with the understanding I had to be at my appointment on Thursday and that surgery was in my near future (aka possibly Thursday itself, but most likely early next week).

(Spent goodly time in ER emailing Madelyn sad pictures of me holding a stuffed bear wearing a hospital gown on a hospital bed while wrapped in sheets and pictures of my IV, while she sent comforting missives that this is better than the prairie, where they would give me a stick and quinine. I have no idea what the stick was for. Best not to find out.)

I'm weirded out by the first dose of morphine not working, actually; the second worked but not with the strong loopy effect, just a mild one, but dear God the sheer ability to swallow without wincing totally loops me out anyway. I took with me two bears (one a gift from [personal profile] svmadelyn that has a pouch for a heating pad) and I honestly felt more shame about the fact I didn't shave my legs.

Note: Shave legs before surgery. And find pound puppy. Am now taking nap because pain free also means I will sleep well and in a normal body position.

I cannot say I am at all looking forward to surgery, but I have to admit that this helped make what's coming seem more familiar. And if this is readable, I am really surprised.

Nap now. *sends hugs* One more week and no one will hear me whine about this again. That's a very good motivator, too.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/53165.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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Get that surgery before things get really bad. Hopefully their pain meds will work for you. I really loved percoset but whatever it takes!

I'm thinking of you, you poor thing.

I must admit, even though you are in massive amounts of pain and discomfort, your sense of humor is alive and well. That is a wonderful thing because sometimes that's what gets you through.

*massive hugs*

(Deleted comment)
Aww, thank you. And yes, you are indeed correct about the Stick's Purpose there. I'd say to put a knife under the bed in order to halve the pain too, but I think that only "worked" for childbirth, sadly.

My thoughts are with you bb. My sister had emergency gall bladder surgery and she felt so, so good after they got the damn thing out of her, so I am looking forward, for your sake, to next week. I completely get the fear, though.

Also, you are amazing. On morphine plus all kinds of other stuff and you still write so amazingly.

<333 hugs, and bears, for you...

It took a combination of OxyCodone and Morphine to get rid of the pain I suffered from Satan rearing his little head. You have my sympathies when it comes to the pain because by the end I just wanted to be put out of my misery, it was *that* bad.

I hope you manage to hold out until the planned surgery rather than needing emergency surgery. Though either way, sweet relief is a-coming soon. *hugs*

Oh, Horace. Such a huge pain in the ass. I'm so glad you're getting rid of him soon, and SO GLAD you're feeling a bit better. There's nothing like chronic pain to get you down, I've found, it just wears and wears on you until real life feels like a hazy memory.

Hang in there. It sounds like you have a totally fabulous support team. GO YOU!

It's not whining, it's a genuine problem! I hope this takes care of everything so you're not in constant pain afterwards.


~hugs

You will feel SO MUCH better once this is all over. You are even a great writer when you are loopy and in pain. LOL!

Seriously, sending a hug and good thoughts your way.

The first dose of morphine not working thing? Yeah, that happened to me with dilaudid (like morphine - hits harder but doesn't last as long) during my last migraine. Second dose with a valium chaser finally knocked it out. And me.

Hope you and Horace part ways soon. *hugs*

Sometimes, the best cure for pain is unconsciousness. I tried destroying my left knee a few years back and dear *gods* did I look forward to that night dosing for a while. I wanted to perform my own above the knee amputation for the first two weeks.

*hugs* Oh, sweetie. This relationship has become abusive. Horace must go. *health vibes*

*big hugs* No one looks forward to surgery - I so didn't - but life was better after it for me, and it will be for you too, and all will go well. *more big hugs*

I don't have any luck with the Vicodin, either. Now the darvocet, that stuff works wonders.

Thanks for mentioning the leg shaving. I go in for surgery early Friday morning, and I really should do it. In case any of the doctors are single and cute, I don't want to be all hairy.

Oh, hon, I know, I KNOW you fear this like the devil hisself, and you've heard all the platitudes, but dude - I literally drove myself home from the hospital the morning after I had mine out. It's like the hangnail of surgeries, provided you get there before it bursts. You'll be up and about and have about as much pain as a minor crampy period for a few days, mostly because of GAS - maybe less if drugs work for you (they don't for me, damn it all) - and I swear, I SWEAR, you will wonder what took you so long. You'll dance with joy - and quickly. Laparoscopic surgery is DA BOMB. :::hugs:::

I have been where you were with a scheduled surgery for gall bladder and yet the damn gall bladder wouldn't wait. I had some additional complications that did entail waiting a ridiculously long time (I had two surgeons who were coordinating their schedules), which meant numerous trips to the ER where Sistah Morphine and I got up close and personal. Funnily enough, one of those visits was with my mother!

Okay, from my experience, make sure that your doctor is available all the time. Get their pager number. Because I ended up back in the ER, two days before my surgery and because I could reach my doctor pronto, they just admitted me and kept me tanked up on drugs for two days while I waited for my surgery date. It's really important that your doctor be in on what's happening because I went through endless and ultimately pointless tests because my doc wasn't in on the loop (at the first ER visit).

I can honestly say that I have been where you are right now and the pain is indescribable. You have my total and utmost sympathy.

Good thoughts your way! Here's to relief from pain.

Tolerance to Vicodin means partial cross-tolerance to other opiates. The exact amount of cross-tolerance depends on individual body chemistry, but somewhere around 50% isn't a bad guess. If you're about half as tolerant to morphine as you are to Vicodin, I don't think it's cause for alarm that the first dose they tried (the lowest they thought might work) was too low.

I hope you're able to get the optimal surgery date and setting, but even if you don't, gallbladder surgery is an unusually safe operation. My mother put off surgery for thirty years of rare, brief, but painful attacks, and she did just fine. I wimped out and scheduled surgery after just one attack (damn you, Trader Joe's ultra-creamy asparagus risotto!) and I'm fine too.

!!!

HOSPITAL?!

[clings to you]

By which I mean, of course, FEEL BETTER!!!! and possibly a little death-wishing upon evil Horace and his evilness of evil. And best wishes for the surgery, sweetheart. I have stuff for you that I'll be mailing soon!


I understand the fear. Several years ago I had my first major surgery, having never had minor surgery. I cried, I bought books about it, I hung out on online forums, I was totally prepared... and it went fine, much easier than I expected. My second major surgery, I was pretty blase about it. We fear the unknown. I'm glad you got a taste of what life post-Horace will be like: pain-free. Just concentrate on that. End of unasked-for opinion...

~babs

::sends virtual bear in sterile outfit::

Awww, sweetie, I have been there, and believe me, way more whining than this is perfectly justified. People who have never had a gallbladder attack have NO FUCKING IDEA

*sigh* I miss my paid account.

Anyway, they have no fucking idea how painful it is. I can't believe you've lasted as long as you have. I know you're scared, but believe me, the surgery is a walk in the park compared to the pain from these constant attacks.

The only advice that I would offer you is, if they prescribe anti-nausea medication for you post-surgery, take it. I decided not to because I'm an idiot, and I paid the price. You might think you're fine without it, but as that general anesthesia works its way out of your system, it will make you feel monumentally barfy.

In positive news, I stopped taking the vicodin and switched to straight tylenol after just a few days, and I was back to work in less than a week. You'll be so much happier once you get rid of Horace, that bastard.

Wow, Horace, good job with the fucking things completely up! I'm almost impressed by how evil your gallbladder is, seperis--I mean, it's not just any internal organ that could manage THAT kind of misery. Good luck with the morphine--I hope you're more comfortable between now and the surgery!

Huh. Well, I hope you don't have to make it to hydromorphone. That shit is crazy powerful, and I'm really glad they've got your pain manageable again. *hugs* Good luck!

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